Indigo x Lazuli hybrid ??
- Evening nflbirders,
Seems as if the Indigo Buntings are enjoying my flat feeders early in the morning and late in the evening this year. For years past, I was lucky to see one indigo a year. Last weekend, I had a male in breeding plumage and a male in non-breeding plumage.
Tonight, I had three, maybe four indigos. All but one appeared to be in various non-breeding / molting attire. But one stood out sharply. The bird, based on body and bill size said indigo bunting. But the lower belly and part of the flanks were white, not buff. Additionally, an irregular white band extended vertically up from the lower belly through the breast. Off white/white wing bars were quite distinctive. A small white patch was also observed on the auricular area of both sides of the head.
Reviewing several bird guides, only one provided a description and image of the indigo x lazuli hybrid, the Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. The description stated that the plumage can be quite variable for the hybrid. Unfortunately, by the time I had the camera out and ready, only one of the non-breeding / molting indigos remained. Maybe tomorrow evening I might obtain a photo of this bird.
Has anyone else observed a bunting with similar characteristics?
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